One of the biggest stories in Boston this week, which quickly spread to national media, is about a Harvard Business School instructor nagging a Chinese restaurant for being overcharged $4. While not directly about politics, the Case of the Shredded Chicken with Extra Price is a fine illustration of how easy it is to shape and set public opinion in a few hours. It’s also an example of the anti-intellectualism, and hostility toward scientific inquiry, that course through American society.
Boston.com broke the story on Tuesday, publishing emails in which associate professor Ben Edelman complained about being charged $1 more than the website price for each take-out item he ordered from the Sichuan Garden. Edelman wrote at least five emails, getting more verbose and lawyerlike as he went on. (“I have already referred this matter to applicable authorities in order to compel your restaurant to identify all consumers affected…”)
Read my blog (Un)Conventional Wisdom at America magazine for more on politics, demographics and civic life. Recent posts include "Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and the Perversity of Political Triage" and "How Big Can America Get Before Its Political System Starts to Buckle?"